Phuket van driver rewarded for returning tourist’s lost B124k

PHUKET: A Phuket tour driver has received high praise from the governor for returning 124,000 baht and US$433* that an Indonesian tourist left behind in his tour van.

Sarawut Sompan, 24, works for the Sai Lom Club van team in Chalong. On Thursday night, he picked up two tourists, Indonesian and Thai, at the Phuket Merlin Hotel in Phuket Town and took them to Phuket International Airport.

“After sending them off at the airport, I drove back home,” Mr Sarawut said.

“When I arrived home and cleaned the van, I noticed a King Power Duty Free bag on the passenger front seat, so I opened it and found US$433 and two bankbooks inside [as well as 124,00 baht].

“I called my friend who had the contact number of the two tourists and called them. They were about to board their plane so I couldn’t return the money to them. They asked me to transfer the money to them later,” he said.

The money belonged to the Indonesian tourist, who offered the van driver a reward of 3,000 baht for returning the money.

“I accepted only 2,000 baht,” Mr Sarawut said.

Mr Sarawut has been praised by both Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut and Chalong Mayor Samran Jindaphol, who awarded him with a certificate.

Gov Maitri, who also plans to give him a certificate, described Mr Sarawut as “a good person who is a good model for Phuket.”

* Correction: The original report stated that the driver returned $US433, which does not coorelate to the entire sum returned to the tourist.

— Orawin Narabal

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